How often do you actively work your arms when using your fitness machines at home. Probably not as much as you could be, right?. Our arms can be one of the last areas to gain tone and strength if we focus on cardio workouts or basic sessions on a treadmill. But, that doesn’t mean that we should give up hope.
Below are three ways that you can bring more focus to your arms during your workouts. First are the ways to make the most of the common exercise machines that you may be used to. Then there are some of the more specialist pieces of equipment that you can add to your gym. Finally, I want to talk about some of the more basic tools that you can try.
Arm workouts with common machines in your home gym
Let’s start with those common fitness machines. This can be the best starting point if you already have a good routine going and just want to make some adaptations.
If you are used to using a treadmill during your daily workout then you won’t be using your arms that much. You can change all this through a couple of different tools. You could upgrade to a machine that has built-in arm cables with adjustable resistance. This means that you can work the muscles and get more of a full-body workout as you jog or run. Just make sure sure that you are up to this sort of multi-tasking if you are still a bit of a novice.
The alternative is to hold some dumbbells as you run to add a bit of weight to the workout. Some treadmills do actually come with free dumbbells and a place to store them after use.
The exercise bike:
If you prefer to use an exercise bike then you can enjoy something similar if you find a machine with a cord or pulley system attached. But, this does mean that you probably won’t get such a consistent reading on your heart rate because the pulse sensors are in the handlebars.
Rowers are already perfect for arm exercise because you get the motion and resistance on that pulley and can adjust the settings accordingly.
As for elliptical machines, make the most of nay resistance and motion in the upright handlebars as this can really work those muscles and those in your shoulder
Specialist machines for arm workouts
When it comes to machines specifically for arms, there aren’t quite so many options besides more all-purpose gym set-ups and arm extension machines. Extension machines work in a similar way to leg extenders and leg presses with a weighted, adjustable system and resistance. You pull the handles out to extend the arms and bring them back to the middle of your chest. Repeat this as often as needed and increase the weight to help with tone and strength. Another option is to get a body gym that has a pull up bar, arm curl feature or some other station where you can make arm exercises part of your routine.
The mini exercise bike:
Another machine that I want to highlight here is the mini exercise bike. While many people will use this as a way to rehab leg injuries or get some basic motion for their knees under a desk, there is also potential for those needing to work on their arms. All you need to do is put this up on a desk or table, hold onto the pedals and get a rotary motion going. This is advisable for those new to exercise or that have weaknesses or injuries in their arms.
Simple tools to add to your set-up for arm workouts
Finally, I want to talk about some of the other pieces of equipment that you can bring into your home-gym set up to improve the strength and tone of your arms. You don’t have to get high-end fancy machines if you don’t want to.
Resistance bands and cords in treadmills are great. But, you can get bands on their own that you can use under your own power. Look out for packs that have lots of of different sizes and resistance levels so that you have room to progress.
Dumbbells don’t have to be part of another machine either as they are an affordable way to work on your arm muscle anywhere that you want’ you can do curls as your check your emails, make a cup of tea or watch your favourite show. They soon add up over the day and you will notice the difference.
If you have the space in your home gym, why not consider getting a medicine ball. This weighted ball is versatile and lets you work on your explosive strength.
Finally, there is the option of the weight rack if you really want to get serious about lifting weight and tracking your progress. You can choose between deadlifts, bench presses or basic dumbbell work.
Choosing the best approach for your needs
Whatever your goals when it comes to working your arm muscles, you need to find the best piece of equipment to help you get there. If your goals are minor and you just want a little more strength and tone then the resistance bands and dumbbells are a great choice. It is up to you whether you would prefer to use them on their own or as part of a machine. If you have a strong routine going on your treadmill, rower or elliptical than look at ways of adjusting this to bring in more arm exercises. Finally, if you are really keen on big gains and a new shape to your arms, you might want to go further with a weight system.
Consider your needs carefully and don’t bite off more than you can chew. You want slow, steady progress, not torn muscle and sore joints. Start small, build on your progress and enjoy the results.